Just a note to say thanks to everyone at El Encuentro for another fine fishing adventure. Friends here ask us why we travel so far to fish when we have rivers like the Henry’s Fork, the Madison, and the Yellowstone in our backyard. Part of it lies with the lodge itself, which substitutes comfort and sociability for architectural pretension. It’s sort of like home, with bedrooms off the living and dining rooms, except of course here you look out over the Futaleufu River and the stunning Throne of the Clouds Mountain. There is an intimacy to the place that is unmistakable and incredibly attractive. You feel like you are part of the family, which is how they treat each other and how they treat guests. Benjamin,Josephina, Pinky, Anita, Alvaro, Roberto, Gregory, Marce, Ceci, Benja, and Guille, we miss you all and can’t wait to return, or for you to visit us again here in our country.
But we don’t travel so far to eat well, which we do, or to make friends, which we have. And for us it’s not really about the fishing either, which is crazy good. Like most of your guests, we could send photos of coun
tless trophy fish. Well, maybe this one of Anne’s should make it into your newsletter!
But for us there is something better. We come to Patagonia for the chance to be on the lakes, rivers, and streams by ourselves, to simply luxuriate in the simple sounds of silence. Head guide Marcelo Widmann says it best: “It’s about the fishing and not the fish.” Exactly. Or in his words “MAAMAA, perfecto.” It’s tempting to show folks here in the U.S. photos like these
And ask them, “what don’t you see?” Here at home, the first would have maybe two or three dozen drift boats in it and the second the banks filled elbow to elbow with anglers. But when you’re fishing El Encuentro waters it’s not that way. We keep telling ourselves, “This is like being in Montana or Idaho 40 years ago, before fly fishing articles began running in the New York Times.” So instead of the standard fish pictures—and we can send you plenty of shots of big fish landed in these waters—we think you should show prospective clients images like these of a place where you’re not surrounded by other fisher people, a place where you don’t have to rush out to claim a piece of water, a place where you can cast to a rising trout for an hour without feeling pressure to move on. Quite simply, we come to El Encuentro to see our friends, be part of the Beale family, be alone on the water, drink eepas (wha’t this drink?) on the stream banks, take after-lunch riverside naps, and rediscover the peace and quiet that got us fishing in the first place. So no more big fish photos. Your clients will get plenty of those, but it’s the emptiness, the quiet, the open sky. That’s why we come. There’s nothing better than El Encuentro. Thank you all. We miss you.
Tom Carter and Anne Oliver
Salt Lake City Utah and Macks Inn Idaho